Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear nothing at all.
A Los Angeles-based model says she’s helped direct hundreds of thousands of dollars toward Australia wildfire relief, after she promised to reward verified donors by sending them naked photos of herself.
Kaylen Ward, 20, has started calling herself the “Naked Philanthropist” on Twitter, after her post promising nudes for donations went viral.
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“I’m sending nudes to every person who donates at least $10 to any one of these fundraisers for the wildfires in Australia,” Ward wrote in a NSFW tweet on Jan 3. “Every $10 you donate = one nude picture from me to your DM (direct messages). You must send me confirmation that you donated.”
The tweet includes a photo of more than a dozen Australian charities and their contact info. It also includes an NSFW photo offering a sample of Ward’s reward, with an angel emoji carefully positioned to cover a certain area.
The post has been liked more than 172,000 times and shared more than 73,000 times. It’s also generated more than 3,700 replies.
“I was expecting to raise maybe $1,000, but the tweet blew up,” Ward, who describes herself as an online sex worker, told Buzzfeed News in an interview.
Ward claims to have raised more than $700,000 to date, based on the receipts she’s seen through her DMs. It’s unclear whether she’s counting in U.S. or Australian dollars.
Shes really out here harvesting raw horny energy for a good cause. Mad respect,” one Twitter user wrote in response to her post.
Sex workers are single-handedly saving Australia and I am here for it,” said another.
She says the campaign has come at some personal cost, as Instagram has shut her account down for violating its rules around self-promotion.
“You’re a true hero to Australia,” one supporter wrote in response to her Instagram issues. “Thank you for your sacrifice.”
Global News has reached out to Ward for details about how she tallies up her donations. As of this writing, she had not yet replied to request for comment.
Ward is hardly the first model to offer titillating content for a good cause. Two models flashed their breasts on live television at the World Series last year, and later claimed they were raising money for breast cancer research through subscriptions to their adult site. They did not offer details about those donations.
It appears that Ward is sending people directly toward the charities that need the money, rather than putting the donations in her own pocket first. However, she has occasionally used the wildfire spotlight to plug her personal adults-only site, which appears in her Twitter profile. She’s also asked for personal donations so she can pay her sex-worker friends to help her answer direct messages on Twitter.
“It’s so much work I have to hire a team,” she tweeted.
Despite the tide of donations, Ward has faced harsh criticism on social media from users who question her methods.
“It’s disgusting that you had to sell nudes for people to donate,” one critic wrote on Twitter. “I 100% disagree with distribution of pornography, but thank you for at least making an effort that caused so much good for Australia. I don’t support how you did it, but GOOD JOB.”
She says a few users who’ve obtained her nudes are now sharing them freely on adult sites. Others have re-posted her Instagram images to create fake accounts.
“Leaking someone’s nudes is wrong and illegal,” Ward tweeted on Sunday. “I hate being vulnerable on the internet,” she wrote in another tweet. “Y’all are mean and cruel … Just imagine if it was you in the spotlight right now.”
Her latest posts suggest her enthusiasm for the project has soured under the weight of mounting backlash.
“Y’all don’t even care about the actual charities anymore,” she wrote on Sunday. “Y’all only care about every other aspect. This has lost all its true value and meaning. Y’all are ruining this.”
Australia commits extra A$2 billion for bushfire rebuilding
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledged on Monday to spend an extra 2 billion Australian dollars on wildfire recovery efforts, in addition to tens of thousands of dollars already promised.
At least 25 people have been killed and more than 2,000 homes have been destroyed by wildfires that have scorched an area of approximately 48,500 square kilometres.
Dozens of efforts are underway to raise money for the firefighting and recovery efforts. The topic has also become a popular cause among celebrities, particularly after several impassioned speeches at the Golden Globes on Sunday night.
Among the more moving pleas was one from actor Margot Robbie, who shared several photos of her childhood in Australia in an Instagram video.
“I didn’t want to show you more pictures of the devastation. I wanted you to see how beautiful our country is,” she said.
“It is so beautiful and it’s really hurting right now, and it really needs you to please donate anything you can.”
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